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Avs captain ruled out of Stanley Cup playoffs

Gabriel Landeskog has missed the entire Avs regular season after having knee surgery in the offseason.

DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche's quest to keep the Stanley Cup is going to be a bit more challenging – the Avs announced on Thursday afternoon that captain Gabriel Landeskog will miss the 2023 playoffs.

Landeskog, 30, has missed the entire regular season after having knee surgery in the offseason. He missed the final 23 regular season games last season because of another knee surgery. He was able to return for the playoffs to help lead the franchise to its third Stanley Cup victory last year.

Landeskog's injury stems back to the 2020 bubble season when he was sliced by a skate in a playoff game against Dallas. He said he suffered a cartilage injury on the bottom of his patella.

And while Landeskog can walk just fine, “when it comes to skating, just a different beast," he explained. "In the NHL, I mean, you've got to be able to do everything at top speed.”

He didn't want his status hanging over the team.

“This was a tough decision to make,” said Landeskog, who has six seasons left on a $56 million, eight-year contract signed in 2021. "Throughout this entire season, it’s felt like the playoffs have always been the one thing that, no matter what, I’m not going miss that.

“Timelines kept getting pushed back and for a long time we just went away from timelines, because it just sets you up for disappointment and frustration.”

Another surgery could be on the horizon for Landeskog. His injury could even linger into next season, too. But he remains adamant about this — he will return.

“When? I don’t know,” Landeskog said. “I’m trying not to look too far ahead. But I’m confident ... we’ll get through this.”

He envisions hanging around the team for their playoff run — rehab willing, of course.

“Being around the guys, I think would be good for myself, especially for selfish reasons," Landeskog said. "Just being around 25 of some of my closest friends that I have. So that will be good.”

No looking back, either, about how taking the ice in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season might have affected things this year.

“There's never been a moment where I regretted anything, especially about last year’s playoff run,” Landeskog said. “I can say that and I feel strongly about that. I'd do anything to help this team win and especially to go all the way. That was very special.”

He's still figuring out his role as captain now that he's sidelined.

“Obviously, nothing will change in terms of how I act around the guys or things like that," Landeskog said. "I just might need to get up to speed on some of their superstitions as they evolve here during the playoffs.”

Landeskog was the Avs' first round pick in 2011. He's spent his entire career with the franchise. 

The Avs take on the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in their final home game at Ball Arena this season. After Thursday night's game, the Avs have one more regular season game that they'll play on Friday. The Avs will face the Nashville Predators to make up a game after Nashville's Bridgestone Arena was flooded earlier this year.



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